Many different reactions to the Patriots punishment for spygate have come from players, coaches and league insiders since the news first broke. Some called for harsh punishments, others thought it wasn't that big a deal. Jaguars defensive lineman Paul Spicer fell into the former group, calling out the Patriots publicly.
When the news first emerged, Spicer wasn't surprised.
"This ain't news. I've heard it in the past," Spicer told the AP. "They finally got caught. They're busted."
Spicer wasn't alone; dozens of players believed the Patriots had done similar things in the past. Now that they had been caught, Spicer wanted the league to throw the proverbial book at them.
"Do like the NCAA and kick them out of the playoffs or something," Spicer said. "Put [the Patriots] on probation; they can't go to no playoff games."
When offered an opportunity to distance himself from those comments on ESPN's First Take program, Spicer opted instead to step into the line of fire, Anthony Smith style.
"I don't regret saying what I said. I'm a man of my word. I always speak my mind and that's what I felt at that time," Spicer said of his comments from the past.
Spicer knows the Patriots have a way of bringing up the past. Smith, a defensive back for the Steelers, made the mistake of guaranteeing a victory over the Patriots before their regular season matchup. After the first Patriots score, Tom Brady ran downfield to get into Smith's face, presumably to offer a reminder to the second-year player not to make brash comments. New England threw two more touchdowns in Smith's directions, both big plays.
After the game, the Patriots poked fun at Smith's guarantee.
We've played against a lot better safeties than him, I'll tell you," said Patriots head coach Bill Belichick.
Smith's predicament -- guaranteeing a victory - set the Patriots off on a mission to embarrass the youngster. The attitude was evident after the game. Spicer, obviously realized that adding more fuel to his own comments may not be such a good idea.
"If they got to bring up something said so long ago to get them motivated, then let that be their motivational tool," he said.
Saturday night, New England will roll out the NFL's top ranked offense against Spicer and the Jaguars' 12th ranked defense; the same defense that blew an 18-point fourth quarter lead against the Steelers.
Official Game Thread